Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Villa Parke Community Center

The Villa Parke Community Center is close to my house, but I had never been inside the courtyard until I found out there was a library there and they had a book I wanted.

If you haven't been to Villa Parke you're missing this extravagant and surprising fountain created by artist Dora De Larios. I say extravagant because it dominates a relatively small courtyard, and surprising because it's just beyond the doors from the street. Who knew it was there? I would imagine the thousands who use the community center's "social/recreation room, weight room, boxing room, teen facility meeting rooms, senior room, several small meeting rooms, two kitchens, lounge, and a gymnasium with showers and dressing rooms" knew it was there, but I didn't. I did know, however, about the farmers' market on the grounds, Tuesdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm.

The library is small, but the staff is friendly and helpful. They didn't have the book I wanted, but they located it for me at another branch. I got what I came for anyway.


26 comments:

Latino Heritage said...

Glad you wandered inside. It is a phenomenal jewel in our Crown City. A fascinating stat - "The Center has approximately 18,000 drop-in client visits per month".

http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/humanservices/Villa_ParkeCenter.asp

dive said...

What a fabulous place.
I love the great slab of blue sky framing the blue and silver on the photo.

Speedway said...

What a beautiful find! That's what I enjoy, those wonderful, unexpected discoveries, when you turn a corner and Poof! Like magic, something you didn't expect!

Petrea Burchard said...

It's really something. I'm only showing you the top of it. The outside of the center was built to look like a Mayan pyramid. I'll post that one of these days.

Steven said...

A nice sharp, crisp photo. Vivid colors indeed. I wonder what material they used? Polished granite? Great looking building.

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm not sure exactly, Steven, but the blue is tile and the silver is metal. Shiny.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Can you see it from the street? it looks familiar to me. I'll have to drop in some time. It's near Burkharts; yes?

Petrea Burchard said...

Not that close to Burkhart's, PA. Here's a map:
http://bit.ly/m5TcAt

I've never seen this thing from the street. I might go across the street and see if I can see it from there. You'd think it would peek out over the walls.

Charissa said...

Beautiful! I've been to the Farmer's Market but not inside the library courtyard. Thanks for the tip!

Petrea Burchard said...

Stop in a look around, Charissa. There's always something going on there.

Your blog is charming, by the way. Speaking of stopping in to look around, I must set aside some time to do that.

Birdman said...

That's a lot of BLUE! It works.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Birdman.

Ms M said...

That's a beautiful fountain! And a great photo. So wonderful to have art like this for all to share.

pasadenapio said...

We love VPCC! It was established by the City of Pasadena in 1973, and major renovations, including the massive medallion in your photo, were completed in 1990.

In addition to indoor and outdoor after-school and summer recreation programs, community meetings and the branch library (which was added in more recent years), the City of Pasadena partners with a number of social service agencies that provide case management, consumer counseling, public benefits assistance, ESL classes and much more. While many of the users are Hispanic, VPCC is of course open to everyone.

I encourage everyone to bring picnics, blankets and low-back lawn chairs this summer to the free movie series on the field, which kicks off this Saturday with the animated film "Madagascar." (There's also "Megamind" this Friday on the upper field at Victory Park; both parks are hosting free summer movie series and the full schedule will be announced.)

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, PIO! I didn't know about the movie series, that's terrific.

Ms. M, thank you, as always. I so appreciate your visits.

altadenahiker said...

And to think I never stopped to poke around.

Dina said...

You got a nice bonus, a dramatic photo.
I wish we had places like that.

Latino Heritage said...

The "Homage to Quetzalcoatl" is part of Pasadena's Public Art Collection.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hiker, I never poked around there before, either, because I knew what PIO said--most of the center's users are Hispanic.

I thought I'd be the only WASP in the place but when I got to the library I saw how silly I'd been. The neighborhood uses the place and I live in the neighborhood and there are plenty of WASPS around here.

Dina, you do! Gorgeous fountains and beautiful public art. I've seen it on your blog. Maybe not a lot of Mexican or Central American-themed art in Jerusalem, though?

Roberta, we need a public art walking tour map that goes north of the freeway.

Here's the excellent south-of-the-freeway Pasadena public art walking tour web page, which doesn't include this fountain but does include many other local artistic wonders.

Susan Campisi said...

I never would've guessed that structure was in Pasadena. I'll have to take that public art walking tour.

Petrea Burchard said...

I should clarify, Susan, that this fountain is not on the tour. But the tour is great.

Susan Campisi said...

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I'll improvise and add the fountain to my tour.

TheChieftess said...

You are the master of uncovering treasures in Pasadena Petrea!!!

Latino Heritage said...

We could go for a Public Art tour. Let me know.

Petrea Burchard said...

Chieftess, I'd say I was a latecomer to this one!

Roberta, that would be a hoot. Not today, obviously! It's raining! Hoorah! Except uhoh. I have to be on the freeway today.

Dina said...

I think I meant to say that I wish we had an active community center like that around here.